excerpts from a letter to my mother’s net curtains – A Poem by Kittie Belltree w/ a drawing by Robert Frede Kenter

excerpts from a letter to my mother’s net curtains

like you a letter should be transparent
a mesh of words let go
threading the margin between surreal and
           complicit
my eyewitnesses     speaking in stitches
remember the frillings and trimmings
the negative acoustic of decay and disorder
cleanliness whispered to godliness
their embroidered conversations
silting the question of breath caught by streetlight
a filament between home and not-home

inside your quiet          folds
the claustrophobia of domesticity
lies loosely against the tight-lipped fabric of
           containment
a conjugal sieve of dust and secrets
where everything and nothing is private
grime    gossip     greed     lust
do you still love those gothic novels
their black and white silence
their arched window violence
needle marks of motherhood
and orphaned young heroines
who must go to bed hungry night after night

dressed in these forensic veils
you can see         right through me
that i am merely matter out of place
remember straining the stain of me          my bed
an amniotic sac of nylon lace

Kittie Belltree’s debut poetry collection, Sliced Tongue and Pearl Cufflinks (2019), is published by Parthian.  Her poems and  reviews have been widely published and her short fiction has been anthologised by Honno in Cut on the Bias (2010).  She works as a Specialist  Tutor for neurodiverse students at Aberystwyth University, where she is completing a PhD on poetry and trauma. Tweets: @KittieBelltree

Robert Frede Kenter is a writer, visual artist, editor and publisher of Ice Floe Press. Work can be found in multiple venues and platforms, print and on-line.

Banner Art: Gastronomy, a drawing by Robert Frede Kenter. Tweets: @frede_kenter

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